Spider-Man 3 Reviews
Gwen Stacy and Venom were written into the film at the request of the producer, and it shows because Sam Raimi and Alvin Sargent doesn't know how to write these characters in a way that makes them interesting. Venom is some alien that fell from the sky and Gwen Stacy is just another love interest.
It doesn't help that almost all of the characters were unlikeable, including Peter Parker, and I'm not just talking about "emo" Peter Parker. The complicated relationship between Peter and MJ could've been interesting, but the cause of their deteriorating relationship was Peter's overinflated ego. MJ also becomes just as self-absorbed over the course of the movie as Peter, as the movie focuses too much on MJ's fixation on her grandiose dream of pursing a music career. It's not that interesting, and frankly, it just makes her character more unlikeable.
Harry Osborne was also overly dramatic about his father's death, and Harry (*SPOILER*) learns from his BUTLER (of all people) that his dad was impaled by his own glider. It was too convenient and anticlimactic, and Harry's amnesia was also handled too conveniently. Speaking of death, the death of Uncle Ben was rewritten. Instead of the thief from the first film, it was actually Sandman (the main villain in this film) that killed him. This was a disservice to the original film. It's like if Bruce Wayne's parents was killed by The Joker instead of Joe Chill (or some other thief). Oh, wait...
Topher Grace was widely criticized for being miscast, as he didn't have the physical build of his comic-book counterpart, but I honestly didn't mind that he didn't look like his character. I think an actor with a similar build to Maguire would work better as an antagonist who is basically an evil version of Peter Parker, and I did enjoy the dark portrayal of the character. My problem with the character was that he was unnecessary. You can certainly have three villains in a movie (and even more), but Spider-Man 3 did not balance the villains very well, and out of all the villains, Topher Grace as Eddie Brock/Venom was the least compelling, which is disappointing because Venom is one of the best villains in the Spider-Man universe, while Sandman (in my opinion) is one of the least interesting villains. Making Sandman a better villain than Venom is like making The Penguin a better villain than The Joker. You can certainly make a less interesting villain better, but it's not worth the effort if it means butchering a better villain. That's what happens when you're forced to shoehorn a villain that you didn't want at the request of a movie producer.
The movie also made a mockery out of Peter Parker when he turned "emo" in an attempt to make him cool. I can tolerate the black attire, the bangs, and the rebellious attitude, but the dancing was ridiculous. Sam Raimi likes to be goofy at times (Evil Dead), but Peter's transition was out of character, and I found myself cringing rather than laughing at Peter's dance moves.
While I did enjoy Spider-Man 3 as it does feature some great action scenes (the last action scene and the fight between Peter and Harry in particular was very entertaining), the movie ultimately suffers from a crowded script. Not only were there three villains, but there were also TWO love triangles. This gives some characters, especially the villains and Gwen Stacy, a less than satisfying amount of screentime and development. Spider-Man 3 isn't terrible, but it's a bad example of a blockbuster made entirely by executives on an assembly line.
The Story does unfortunately fall under what I call the sequel trap as it tries to stuff too many plot points to try and make the movie seem grand and epic. I will give credit that they do at least attempt to explain everything the movie establishes and some of the story ideas surprisingly really do work. I like the establishment of the villain arcs for Harry and the Sandman and the new challenges that Peter and Mary face can be very relatable and sometimes heartfelt. The establishment of the Symbiote is a really cool feature that does add a new layer onto peter's struggle and it can lead to some very well done character development. Though a lot of the story seemed very messy and kinda all over the place, I can at least tell that everyone behind the scenes were doing the best job they could with making this movie work.
The Characters can range from being uninteresting to interesting depending on which character they bring attention to. Most of the main characters like Peter and Mary Jane do keep their same level of likability while giving more depth to their personality. Some of the new characters like Sandman and even Harry as a villain, are given a good amount of time to establish motivations and give reasons as to what they want to accomplish. Other characters like Gwen Stacy and Eddie Brock (who later becomes Venom.) Do not have enough personality and are usually put to the side to bring attention to other details in the plot. I personally thought that the actor playing Eddie was very miscast and I didn't feel for him even when he did become Venom because there really wasn't enough time to develop his character and give him much interesting material to work off of.
The Cinematography is very impressive and like the last two movies, it goes further with showing off some great action and some pretty immersive environments for our characters to fight in. The CGI has definitely gotten better and they blend in very well with the practical effects much better than the first movie. They also get creative with the many powers and stunts that both Spiderman and villains have to do. Sometimes, the CGI can show a lot of cool imagery such as the Sandman's birth or even the design of Venom as it was admittedly pretty freaky looking and threatening.
The Music was not done by Danny Elfman surprisingly. Instead it was done by Composer Christopher Young but you could probably never tell the difference because he does adopt the music style of the previous movies very well. Not much can be said about the Film's score but it does get the job done and works with whatever is happening on the screen.
It's so unfortunate that this movie didn't work the way it should have because it did have a lot of great things going for it. I know tons of people like to pick on this movie for it's flaws and I can understand that. I don't think it's anything awful or a waste of my time as there were still a couple of elements that really did work in the long run. I'm glad I saw it and I don't think the moments that are great should go unrecognized. The 3rd Spider Man movie may have ended the trilogy on an uneven note but it definitely at least tried everything it could to be great. (B)